GEORGE TOWN, June 15 — Penang’s annual George Town Heritage Celebrations in conjunction with the 14th anniversary of George Town’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site will be held over three days in the first week of July.
George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Ang Ming Chee said this year’s celebrations will be held on the first weekend of July and on July 7.
“This year, the celebrations are back in physical form and we hope the public, especially young adults and families with young children, will join the events lined-up during the celebrations,” she said.
The George Town Heritage Celebrations went virtual over the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic but Ang said this year, they are bringing back multicultural performances and interactive workshops for people to once again participate in fun, cultural activities over the three-day celebrations.
“There will be performance arts, traditional crafts, with an emphasis on the importance of peaceful coexistence of people, nature, and culture,” Ang said.
She said there will be 20 cultural performances, nine workshops and eight video presentations.
“The highlight features of the celebrations are glove puppet theatre and wayang kulit performances which will be held on July 2 and 3,” she said.
A 40-minute glove puppet performance titled “The Monkey King’s Havoc in Heaven” by the Beng Geok Hong Potehi Troupe will be held on July 2 while a wayang kulit performance titled “Wak Long Menjadi Raja” by Wak Long Music and Art Centre will be held on July 3.
There will also be other performances over that weekend including boria, Odissi Dance, dikir barat, lion dance, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese orchestra medley, sitar recital and more.
The performances, which are free to attend with no registration needed, will be held at the Lebuh Acheh Basketball Court.
On George Town World Heritage Day on July 7, there will be a George Town Discovery Walk around the inner city.
It will be a 5km fun walk and those interested will need to register on this website.
One the evening of July 7, Ang said there will be workshops for families and children from 5.30pm to 9.30pm at Armenian Park in Lebuh Acheh.
“The workshops will be on wau-making, henna art, woodblock printing, wayang kulit making, kolam and thoranam making, khat, Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting,” she said.
The workshops are organised in partnership with the Penang Islamic Foundation, Penang Hindu Association, Penang Clan Associations Youth Committee, Van Hin Book Co and Wak Long Music and Art Centre.
Participants do not need to register for the workshops but it will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
“On the same evening, the Penang Cultural Heritage In The New Normal Mini-Documentary Films Screening will also be held at Dewan Belia Lebuh Acheh,” she said.
Ang said the films were documented by local film talents during the Covid-19 pandemic which was aimed at inspiring the public.
Free drinking water dispensers will be provided at the events venue during the celebrations so the public is advised to bring their own water bottles.
Due to the limited parking space within the heritage enclave around Armenian Park, the public is advised to carpool or to park at the multi-storey car parks in Komtar and walk to the site.